A drag free drift is almost always necessary to entice trout. Almost always — see Murray’s Fly Shop’s latest tip for brook trout fishing and nailing those trout hanging in the tails of pools.
Another good attractor pattern for brook trout from Phil Monahan and MidCurrent — the Hi-Vis Coachman. Almost every brookie I catch in small mountain streams is on a Royal Wulff. Sometimes I get crazy and use a Mr. Rapidan or increasingly some bastardized version of an Adams that I tie myself. If it looks buggy and the water is moving, throw something you can see easily because the fish are going to snag it if it’s drifting cleanly and you didn’t spook them.
MidCurrent has a good video of how to tie the non-slip mono loop knot. A little more involved than a simple clinch knot, this is another knot I have not tried. Looks like it would be good for streamers and, as mentioned in the video, nymphs. Lifelike action and strong.
I wonder how this compares to the Duncan loop, the other loop that I am familiar with but rarely use. I am a clinch knot man (improved clinch knot really) and that serves me well for almost everything. But I can’t help thinking I’m missing some fish by not using a knot that can make a fly work with a little more life in some circumstances.
Along with the Davy knot, I now have two new knots to play around with this month.
A new knot for me to try, the Davy knot. The claim is that it is not only very simple and quick to tie but is among the best knots for breaking strength and wastes very little tippet.
We all get habitual about our knots. You learn two or three knots well and those are the ones you use forever. I’ve tried to learn new knots regularly, but usually they are more complicated than the ones I already know (the improved clinch knot, blood knot, nail and needle knots, surgeon’s loop and perfection loop are my go-to knots) and are usually for more specialized situations. But the Davy knot is worth a good look. I’m certainly willing to try it on small dry flies for brook trout. If I get some confidence with it then the next step is to try it on flies for larger fish on which I’m much warier conducting experiments.
Orvis News has a good video showing how to tie a quick clinch knot for a dropper rig, courtesy of Zach Matthews, from the Itinerant Angler. Good simple way to do this.
How to Tie the Instant Dropper Knot from Zach Matthews on Vimeo.
If it’s about fishing and it’s funny, I’ve probably found it on Moldy Chum. So in that respect today is like almost every other day. That and the weather man telling us that we may get a dusting of snow, or many inches of snow tomorrow. They usually narrow it down right around when it starts, like tomorrow at rush hour. Anyway, Sean “Sean Juan” Murphy (Real name? We can only hope.) has a useful list of ten things we fly fisherman should know. So that you may take things seriously, the Flyosopher’s bona fides:
…I have a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game, haven’t seen my boss in about seven years, and to top it all off, the incredibly broad-shouldered and jacked Flyosopher walks down the street with the not-so quiet confidence that he could easily kill the average man with his bare hands.
It starts with Know How To Swim. I recommend reading the rest yourself.
Winter is a great time to fish midge imitations (Chironomidae), those tiny little bugs that I need 3X reading glasses to have a chance of threading onto my leader. Fishing with midges is a current topic on several websites right now.
MidCurrent has a good overview of fly fishing with midges.
Harry Murray has a new podcast about fly fishing with midges.
TroutU has a little guide about fly fishing with midges.
If you are on Facebook, a guy named Greg Faught (search on Facebook to find him) from New Mexico has some great photos of midges he ties, including some funky colors like the pink ones shown here.
Tie one on. Buy some new glasses for 2011. And get out there.
This is a neat little book, The Brook Trout and the Determined Angler. It’s something you might find on a musty bookshelf at your grandparents’ cabin in the woods.
I don’t want to say that the Royal Wulff is the only fly you need to catch brook trout on mountain streams in the eastern United States. It’s not. Some say other flies work better in certain situations and on certain streams. There are those who claim terrestrials are the only way in mid-summer. When hatches occur many insist matching the hatch is a must. When waters are raging nymphing could be your best bet. And so on. No doubt these are all valid views at various times.
Wild trout are spooky. Everyone who fishes for them learns this, but sometimes the degree to which you have to be sneaky is much greater than you’d think. In certain conditions, especially in late summer when the water is low and clear, it is absolutely NOT crazy to have to crawl (on hands and knees and maybe on your belly) up to the spot where you’ll cast in order to avoid scattering the fish in that pool.